Monday, January 22, 2018

An immigrant to New York and servant to those with leprosy in Hawaii

St. Marianne Cope

Image of St. Marianne Cope


Feastday: January 23
Patron of lepers, outcasts, those with HIV/AIDS, the Hawaii
Birth: January 23, 1838
Death: August 9, 1918
Beatified By: May 14, 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI
Canonized By: October 21, 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI

Saint Marianne Cope, O.S.F. is also known as Saint Marianne of Moloka'i. She was born in Germany on January 23, 1838 and spent much of her life working in Hawai'i working with lepers on the island of Moloka'i.
She was beatified in 2005 and declared a saint by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012.
Cope was born on January 23, 1838 in Heppenheim, in what was then the Grand Duchy of Hesse. Today, that region is part of Germany. She was baptized Maria Anna Barbara Koob, which was later changed to Cope.
Just a year after her birth, her family emigrated to the United States, settling in Utica. New York. Cope attended a parish school until she reached the eighth grade. By that time, her father had become an invalid and she went to work in a factory to support the family.
Her father died in 1862, and this along with her siblings maturity, permitted her to leave the factory to pursue a religious life. She became a novitiate of the Sisters of the Third Order Regular of Saint Francis based in Syracuse, New York. She took the name Marianne when she completed her formation.
German-speaking immigrants settled in large numbers in her area of New York state, so she became a teacher and later a principal at a school for immigrant children.
Cope also helped direct the opening of the first two Catholic hospitals in central New York. She arranged for students from the Geneva Medical College in New York to work at the hospital, but also stipulated that patients should be able to refuse treatment by them. It was one of the first times in history that the right of a patient to refuse treatment was recognized.
By 1883, Cope had become the Superior General of her congregation. It was at this time she received a plea for help from leprosy sufferers in Hawaii. King Kalakaua himself sent the letter asking for aid in treating patients who were isolated on the island of Moloka'i. The King had already been declined by more than 50 other religious institutes.
Mother Marianne, as she was then known, left Syracuse with six sisters to attend to the sick, and arrived on November 8,1883.
Once arrived, Mother Marianne managed a hospital on the island of O'ahu, where victims of leprosy were sent for triage. The most severe patients were sent to the island of Moloka'i.
The next year, Mother Marianne helped establish the Malulani hospital on the island of Maui.
Her tenure at Malulani hospital did not last as she was soon called back to O'ahu to deal with claims of abuse from the government-appointed administrator there. Upon arrival and following an initial investigation, Mother Marianne demanded that he resign or she would leave. The government dismissed the administrator and gave her full management of the hospital there.
Although Mother Marianne was getting older, he workload only seemed to increase. Soon, she was responsible for orphans of women who had contracted the disease as well as clergy who had contracted the disease while working with lepers.
Eventually, Mother Marianne's work became a burden on her frail body and she was confined to a wheelchair. Despite this limitation, she continued to work tirelessly. Many noticed that despite all her years of work she never contracted leprosy herself, which many regarded as a miracle in itself.
Mother Marianne passed away on August 9, 1918 and was buried at Bishop Home.
In the years following her death, several miracles were reported in her name. In 1993, a woman was miraculously cured after multiple organ failure following prayers to Mother Marianne. The woman's subsequent recovery was certified by the Church and Mother Marianne was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on May 14, 2005.
After her beatification, Mother Marianne's remains were moved to Syracuse, New York and placed in a shrine.
On December 6, 2011, an additional miracle was credited to her and approved by Benedict.
On October 21, 2012, she was officially canonized by Benedict.

Surely to spark more controversy, possibility of ordaining certain married men to Priesthood

Serving isolated parishes may mean ordaining married men, cardinal says

Serving isolated parishes may mean ordaining married men, cardinal says
In this file photo, Pope Francis greets Cardinal Beniamino Stella, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, during an audience with participants in the plenary assembly of the Congregation for Clergy at the Vatican June 1, 2017. (Credit: CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano.)
The idea of exceptionally ordaining older married men of proven virtue to celebrate the Eucharist in isolated Catholic communities is something that should be discussed, said Cardinal Beniamino Stella, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy.
ROME - The idea of exceptionally ordaining older married men of proven virtue to celebrate the Eucharist in isolated Catholic communities is something that should be discussed, said Cardinal Beniamino Stella, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy.
“It is not about being in favor of or against something, but about attentively evaluating various possibilities without being closed or rigid,” the cardinal said in a new book in Italian, Tutti gli Uomini di Francesco (“All Francis’s Men”) released Jan. 22 by Edizioni San Paolo.
The book, by Italian journalist Fabio Marchese Ragona, includes interviews with churchmen named to the College of Cardinals by Francis.
Francis was asked by the German newspaper Die Zeit last year about whether, in the Latin-rite church, he could see allowing married “viri probati” - men of proven virtue - to become priests.
“We have to study whether ‘viri probati’ are a possibility. We then also need to determine which tasks they could take on, such as in remote communities, for example,” Francis said.
The issue is expected to come up in the 2019 special gathering of the Synod of Bishops to study questions related to the church’s pastoral work in the Amazon. Already at synods in 1990 on the priesthood and 2005 on the Eucharist some bishops - especially from Brazil’s Amazon region - suggested ordaining married men as the only way to ensure Catholics in isolated villages could receive the Eucharist regularly.
Stella said that in the Amazon or in some remote Pacific islands, “but not only, there is acute suffering because of a real ‘sacramental emergency,’ which the few priests present are not able to accommodate.”
The discussion Francis wants the church to have, he said, is to look seriously at all the options for responding to people’s real hunger for the Eucharist and honoring its central place in the life of the church.
While the Catholic Church throughout the world, especially in the more secularized West, must improve its vocations work, Stella said, it also should study the possibilities and see if “the Spirit suggests something.”
One possibility to explore is the exceptional ordination of older married men in remote communities, he said. “Continuing to maintain their family and jobs and receiving a formation contextualized for their environment, they could offer part-time service to the community they come from in order to guarantee the sacraments, especially by presiding at the eucharistic celebration.”
But an “attentive study and a widespread ecclesial discernment” are necessary before moving in that direction, he said, adding that the ordination of elders in those cases would never mean changing the usual requirements for and ministry of priests in the Latin rite and “in no way would lead to optional celibacy.”

It's Monday night; let's blog, just you and me

So on this Monday night, home from work, purposely not scheduling anything because the rest of the week is demanding, free from any fear of freezing weather(in fact for January it's almost warm) I decided to chat a bit.  Lately I find myself somewhat reflective and extremely verbose, of course I am always somewhat verbose.  I do like words so there's that!

Let me address Monday right off the bat.  I am always discouraged to see social media postings that start on Sunday night and continue all day Monday as folks moan and groan that Monday is back and just being all gloomy about this first day of what we call the traditional work week.  Mondays should not be wasted and not maligned.  After all God created Monday every bit as much as Friday or Saturday or a holiday.  And we cannot arrive at a Friday without going through Monday.  For me, I find Monday a very productive and usually busy day at work and chance to start fresh at the beginning of another week.  When I was young I used to moan and groan; I despised Sunday night because it meant Monday is coming.  Now I most productively and excellently spend my Sunday night at Adoration, I offer Benediction and I almost always assist at the evening Mass.  Sunday evenings/nights are beautiful and sustain me as I awake on Monday morning.  Think about our Monday attitude and try an attitude of gratitude to God for the gift of a whole new day!

Today I was reflecting on the next opportunity to be Pops.  I love being Pops to Calvin and Katelyn who, once again, entertained me greatly when we had our Sunday Skype session.  I am still enjoying great memories from our Christmas visit of now a month and change ago and our November visit impacted by my very sick appendix.  This year, because of schedules, it may be a long while before we see them in person.  Meanwhile, on the home front, my daughter Elizabeth informs me that the doctor says baby Brennan will be here in about 5 weeks.  This is my daughter's first child and yesterday was her baby shower.  From all accounts, it was a huge success, lots of family and friends came and they had fun.  That makes me smile.  I know my little girl is anxious to meet her little girl and so am I.  So I guess you can say I'm a 3 time Pops!

Despite last week's horrible weather I have had a great week in ministry.  Bible Study was cancelled but it actually afforded me the opportunity to delve deeper into the heart of Acts of the Apostles.  This particular book is a must read for Catholics as you see in Paul's travels and writings the foundational days of Holy Mother Church.  On Thursday I had hoped to visit with our family staying on our church campus for the Family Promise program.  As a family is going through the difficulty of homelessness, we house the family for a week.  We feed them, provide lodging for the evening and anything else they may need.  Of course we are all praying for them as well.  Sadly the weather prevented my visit but despite the weather our incredible volunteers were able to attend to their every need.  This program should inspire all people of faith and I am proud that St. Jane de Chantal actively participates.

The other big ministry event this past week was the Pro Life efforts of so many, including our parish family.  I have already spoke of the efforts of our youth and their sponsors as they bravely made their way to Washington DC and marched for Life!!  And our Saturday team, with many Knights of Columbus participating went to Baton Rouge and marched for Life here in Louisiana!  Inspired by their witness and led by the Holy Spirit, my homily this weekend addressed the evil of abortion and the powerful witness of so many, including our own, who dared to march.

Speaking of that homily I was struck by an event at our Saturday vigil mass.  In my homily, as soon as I said the words Roe v Wade, I took notice of one man, older, very well dressed, as he exited stage left.  I realized his departure was some kind of protest as he promptly returned to his pew from outside at the conclusion of my homily.  Interesting I thought as I'm sure this man believes himself to be a good Catholic.  By leaving so early, he has no idea what was said.  And then there is the whole Holy Spirit influence.  Do folks in the pew really believe that good and faithful homilist is free to write his own stuff?  That would only be true if we are suppressing the Holy Spirit.  I moved on and delivered that same homily again Sunday.  I have posted it on this blog so read it and judge for yourself.  You know one day, many months ago, a parishioner wrote me, rather anonymously that homilies should be all happy, clappy, fluffy stuff.  Yeah well that's not how the Holy Spirit leads me.

My other great joy Sunday was baptizing little Abram, of whom I also have blogged earlier.  This little boy was so good and didn't move a muscle until I poured water in his eyes, something I hate to do.  But what was important is the water was poured, the right words said and Abram became a new creation in Christ, born-again, freed from original sin and becoming the newest member of the church.  It is such a joyful Sacrament and so joyful to offer as a Deacon.

So after a nice evening relaxing and looking forward to Monday morning, I made my way to work, put in a busy day, still managed to get some ministry paperwork done and have arrived at this hour of Monday night, sharing with all of you this satisfying existence.  I hope all of you will have a peaceful night and restful sleep and arise on Tuesday to thank God and make the most of our Tuesday

Archdiocese of New Orleans addresses the harm from pornography

Creating a ‘Safe Haven’ From the Pornography Pandemic
On Feb. 17-18, the Archdiocese of New Orleans will inaugurate a new program to alert parents, educators and clergy about the harm posed by explicitly sexual material and arm them with protective tools.
Article main image
NEW ORLEANS — When New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond heard within a week three tragic stories about pornography’s impact on people in his archdiocese, he knew it was time to seek divine direction.
“As I prayed about it, I said, ‘Okay, Lord, it’s a problem, but if I don’t do anything about it, it’s still a problem.’” Archbishop Aymond responded by assembling a team that is developing a five-year pastoral plan to educate parents, educators and clergy about the threat pornography presents and to give them the tools to protect themselves and their families.
The plan will be introduced to the faithful Feb. 17-18 with “Safe Haven Sunday,” a weekend set aside to address the issue within the context of the liturgy. Homilies and prayer petitions will deal with the pornography problem, and parishes will distribute the book Equipped: Smart Catholic Parenting in a Sexualized Culture, which tells about a free seven-day email program offering practical tips on creating safe digital environments in the home. Anyone can enroll in the program by texting the word “secure” to 66866.
David Dawson, director of the archdiocese’s Office of Marriage and Family Life, said by initiating a public conversation about pornography, the archdiocese is attempting to shed light on this scourge and remove it from under the cover of darkness.
“We have to talk about it,” Dawson said. “It gives it more power when there’s shame and keeping it under wraps. This is something we’re all affected by. We need to make it a priority and recognize that this is not something we can avoid and pretend is not there. And God can help us with this.”
Indeed, the pervasiveness of pornography today is such that it is accessible to anyone with a smartphone, tablet or laptop or desktop computer, making children and young people particularly vulnerable.
According to the U.S. bishops’ 2015 document “Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography,” the average age of first exposure to pornography is 11, and nearly all young males and more than half of young females see pornography before the age of 18, often through accidental access via a pop-up ad or typo.
The bishops’ document also notes that, by age 5, half of children go online daily; by age 13, three-quarters have a mobile phone, and, on average, 15-to-18-year-olds spend at least an hour a day consuming media on their phones.

Talking With Children
Because of his work in marriage and family life, Dawson, a father of six whose oldest is 9, said the danger of pornography exposure via the internet was on his radar before the archdiocese undertook its five-year campaign.
In his own home, knowing that the average age of first exposure is 11, he has made sure that his children do not have their own computer devices and that when they do use them, they do so with a parent and with a purpose.
Nonetheless, he said, he is aware that his children’s friends and family members may have devices, so he has begun to talk with his children about what they should do if they see pornography online. “At this point in our history and culture, kids have to be aware of the dangers of these things, so when they are exposed they will come to us and ask for help.”
Timmy McCaffery, the associate director of the archdiocese’s Office of Marriage and Family Life and chairman of the “Create in Me a Clean Heart” initiative committee,. said he and his wife also encourage their children to come to them should they see something online that scares them or they don’t understand.
As the bishops’ document points out, children often encounter pornography through an accidental click. “But once a kid sees something at a young age,” McCaffery said, “he’s not in a position to be able to handle it and distinguish it from something good.”
McCaffery said, even at 6 years old, his oldest child has friends who have their own iPods and tablets. He and his wife are responding by teaching their children that when they use such devices, they do so with their parents.
“They also don’t see my wife and I surfing aimlessly,” he said. “When we use a tablet, phone or computer, it’s with a purpose. When that purpose is served, we put the device down and go back to living our lives.”

‘People Feel Powerless’
He said the response so far to the archdiocese’s initiative has been overwhelming — and one of gratitude. “I think people were caught off-guard initially that the archdiocese was so willing to talk about it. Especially among educators, administrators and parents, people feel powerless, even though they know it’s an issue. Some parents might say, ‘not my kid,’ but when they sit through a few minutes of talking about it, they know it’s a worthwhile conversation.
“I think educators and priests are especially aware of the issue and are ready to jump in. They’re just glad someone else is starting the conversation because they don’t know what to do and where to turn.”
McCaffery said the archdiocese has received help in developing its plan from Covenant Eyes, a company that provides accountability and filtering services for internet use.
“We’re partnering with them because they do such a good job of partnering with other resources around the world — counseling, speaking, presenting, research,” he said. “They’re connected with some of the best resources in the world.”
Ryan Foley, an internet safety consultant and vice president for business development at the Owosso, Michigan-based Covenant Eyes, said his company was interested in building a strategic plan to help apply the bishops’ “Clean Heart” document and was seeking a diocese willing to serve as a prototype. “We as a company said, ‘We’re going to give that document life and take seriously how to implement it.’”
Now that Archbishop Aymond has taken the lead by responding, Foley said, several other bishops and dioceses have expressed interest in doing something similar.
As a Catholic, Foley said he is convinced that the Church cannot just deal with the pornography problem in the confessional alone.
“We have to get proactive. … We tend to deal with problems after they become problems,” he said, “but if we don’t get control of this, we’re going to see continued decline in marriages, early trauma in children and all these negative things happening.”

Changing Views of Sex
Already, he said, researchers are finding that young people’s view of sexuality is changing in a way that diverges from the Church’s teaching. Foley cited a recent Barna study that, for example, found millennials were more likely than older adults to consider the purpose of sex to be self-expression and personal fulfillment.
In reporting the study’s findings, Barna merely notes as a factor the liberalization of social and moral attitudes toward sex since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, but Foley is concerned about pornography’s effect on an already-sexualized culture because it attacks the core of what the Church teaches. “This could be the greatest impediment to evangelization the Church has ever seen,” he said.
Archbishop Aymond agreed, pointing out that pornography also spawns other social maladies such as addictions, human trafficking and disrespect for women. “I think it’s one of the greatest moral issues of our day, and people are not very willing to talk about it. It’s the elephant in the room.”
Dawson added that pornography’s availability has meant that what is being learned at the foundational level about sex is often being conveyed through porn, distorting the viewer’s understanding of his or value as a human being and the nature of love and relationships. “If I’m affected by porn, my understanding of my value is very much affected. I can’t understand God’s image of me if porn is part of the way I understand the world.”

Prevention First
Although the Church as a source of healing, mercy and restoration can do many things to help fix the hurt caused by pornography, Foley said he believes the greater need now is to get ahead of the problem by working on prevention.
The New Orleans “Clean Heart” initiative began with a letter from Archbishop Aymond to all pastors, catechetical leaders and educators, followed by two days of workshops last March. “That went so well,” McCaffery said, “that the archdiocese decided to close all the schools for one day in November and invite educators for a day of formation.” A key part of the day was an hourlong presentation on the issue of pornography.
Now, the next step is getting the message out through “Safe Haven Sunday,” a name inspired by the U.S. bishops’ “Clean Heart” document, which says, “The use of pornography by anyone in the home deprives the home of its role as a safe haven and has negative effects throughout a family’s life and across generations.”
McCaffery said “Safe Haven Sunday” is a kind of trial run to help the archdiocese see how it can use its resources to reach the largest number of people. Going forward, a clearinghouse website for different audiences will be key. Also planned are clergy trainings and presentations to parents in schools and parishes.
Reaching and empowering parents is especially important, McCaffery said, because high-school and middle-school students cannot be expected to police themselves when it comes to such a potent substance as pornography.
“Kids are being asked to handle such powerful media in a way that their brains are not yet able to handle,” he said. “Parents need to be very aware and be involved in decisions made in the home, especially with technology.”

Here to Help
Through its campaign, McCaffery said, the archdiocese wants to help people understand that this is a big issue, but it’s not the end of the road. “It’s not just that porn is bad, but we’re here to help. It’s such a powerful substance, and it affects us more deeply than people give it credit for … Young people especially are influenced and drawn in, and how it affects them is overwhelming. We want to be able to say, especially as parents: ‘We are here to help. God is here to help.’”
Judy Roberts writes from Graytown, Ohio

Always interesting, sometimes controversial, Pope Francis meets the Press on the flight home to Rome

During In Flight Presser, Pope Discusses Trip, Barros, On-Flight Wedding and More
On Return Flight From Chile and Peru, Pontiff Apologizes to Sexual Abuse Victims, Saying ‘Proof’ Was a Poor Choice of Wording

Pope With Greg Burke on Papal Flight
Returning from his visit to Peru and Chile, Jan. 15-22, 2018, Pope Francis held his traditional inflight “press conference” with journalists onboard the papal plane touching on a wide range of issues.
The first questions related to his just-concluded Apostolic Visit to South America, on his visit, the Holy Father reflected in Spanish on the fruits of the journey, its developments, and its difficulties.
When asked  about the couple of flight attendants he married on the flight, the Pope responded, emphasizing that he had questioned them quite a bit before marrying them and that they had undergone the necessary courses of marriage preparation.
On the two-hour flight from Santiago to Iquique, Chile, on January 18, 2018, the Holy Father blessed the marriage of a Chilean couple: Paula Podesta Ruiz, 39, and Carlos Ciuffando Elorriaga, 41, who had been married civilly for eight years. In 2010 an earthquake destroyed the church where they intended to exchange their vows.  Paula Podesta Ruiz and Carlos Ciuffando Elorriaga have two children: Rafaella, 6, and Isabella, 3.
According to the press on board the plane, the couple asked the Pope to bless their wedding rings. Francis asked them if they wished to be married religiously. “They were talking with the Pope. They told him they weren’t married in the Church. The Pope asked them if they wished to be married immediately. They said “yes,” said Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, who accompanies the Argentine Pontiff on all his trips.
The Holy See stressed that the Sacrament of Marriage is valid. “Everything is official. There are witnesses, there is a document,” said the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke.
Many conservative Catholics have criticized the wedding, noting it would perpetuate couples wanting to get married in secular and unusual locations, and will leave pastors without grounds for suggesting Church weddings. The Pope said the new spouses were prepared and that he made a judgement call. “The sacraments are for people. All the conditions were clear,” he said.
Journalists asked the Pope about  the earlier episode during the trip, when he said that until he sees proof that Bishop Juan Barros was complicit in covering up the sex crimes of the Fr. Fernando Karadima, such accusations against Barros are “all calumny.”
The sexual abuse scandals in the South American country had caused many to be very skeptical of the Catholic Church and had led to many protests, even violent ones, leading up to and during the Pontiff’s visit.
The Pontiff went on to apologize to victims of clerical sex abuse, acknowledging he had “wounded many” in his comments, noting having done so “pains” him.
While the Pontiff did note he saw the declaration of Cardinal O’Malley of Boston, who also leads the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, which noted the Pontiff’s response could be discouraging and could hurt victims, the Pope stressed that while he does believe in ‘zero tolerance,’ he also will not cast stones until there is evidence.
The Pope recognized how much victims of abuse must suffer when the Pope says, ‘Bring me a letter with the proof.’ The Pontiff said, “I now realize that my expression was an unfortunate one.”
While apologizing saying he made a poor choice of words, the Pope still stressed: “I can’t condemn him because I don’t have evidence and because I am convinced he is innocent.”
Unless ‘credible evidence’ is brought against him, Francis said, Barros would remain in his place.
The Holy Father also responded to an assortment of other questions ranging from the Amazon, the environment, and Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga.

Dont forget today is National Sanctity of Human Life Day

President Donald J. Trump Proclaims January 22, 2018, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day

Issued on:

Today, we focus our attention on the love and protection each person, born and unborn, deserves regardless of disability, gender, appearance, or ethnicity. Much of the greatest suffering in our Nation’s history — and, indeed, our planet’s history — has been the result of disgracefully misguided attempts to dehumanize whole classes of people based on these immutable characteristics. We cannot let this shameful history repeat itself in new forms, and we must be particularly vigilant to safeguard the most vulnerable lives among us. This is why we observe National Sanctity of Human Life Day: to affirm the truth that all life is sacred, that every person has inherent dignity and worth, and that no class of people should ever be discarded as “non-human.”
Reverence for every human life, one of the values for which our Founding Fathers fought, defines the character of our Nation. Today, it moves us to promote the health of pregnant mothers and their unborn children. It animates our concern for single moms; the elderly, the infirm, and the disabled; and orphan and foster children. It compels us to address the opioid epidemic and to bring aid to those who struggle with mental illness. It gives us the courage to stand up for the weak and the powerless. And it dispels the notion that our worth depends on the extent to which we are planned for or wanted.
Science continues to support and build the case for life. Medical technologies allow us to see images of the unborn children moving their newly formed fingers and toes, yawning, and even smiling. Those images present us with irrefutable evidence that babies are growing within their mothers’ wombs — precious, unique lives, each deserving a future filled with promise and hope. We can also now operate on babies in utero to stave off life-threatening diseases. These important medical advances give us an even greater appreciation for the humanity of the unborn.
Today, citizens throughout our great country are working for the cause of life and fighting for the unborn, driven by love and supported by both science and philosophy. These compassionate Americans are volunteers who assist women through difficult pregnancies, facilitate adoptions, and offer hope to those considering or recovering from abortions. They are medical providers who, often at the risk of their livelihood, conscientiously refuse to participate in abortions. And they are legislators who support health and safety standards, informed consent, parental notification, and bans on late-term abortions, when babies can feel pain. These undeterred warriors, many of whom travel to Washington, D.C., every year for the March for Life, are changing hearts and saving lives through their passionate defense of and loving care for all human lives. Thankfully, the number of abortions, which has been in steady decline since 1980, is now at a historic low. Though the fight to protect life is not yet over, we commit to advocating each day for all who cannot speak for themselves.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 22, 2018, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. I call on all Americans to reflect on the value of our lives; to respond to others in keeping with their inherent dignity; to act compassionately to those with disabilities, infirmities, or frailties; to look beyond external factors that might separate us; and to embrace the common humanity that unites us.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.

Pope Francis to land back in Rome within the hour(2:15 Rome time is 7:15 am CST)

Pope Francis ‘s Plane Expected to Land in Rome Around 2:15 pm
The Pope Expresses His Gratitude for Peru’s ‘Generous Hospitality’

Flight -Peru and Chile - Copyright: Vatican Media
Having left Rome for Santiago de Chile on Monday, January 15, 2018 on Alitalia’s flight  B777, Pope Francis boarded a Latam company  plane, flight B767 from Lima, Peru, for his return trip to Rome  on Sunday, January 21, at 7:10 pm (1:10 am Rome time).
At the end of this 22nd international trip, which took him to Latin America for the fifth time, the Holy Father is expected to land in Rome’s Ciampino airport at 2:15 pm today, Monday, January 22.
The Pontiff left the capital after presiding over Sunday Mass in Lima’s Las Palmas airbase, which was attended by more than 1.3 million people, including the President of the Republic, Pedro Pablo Kaczynski, and his wife, Nancy Lange, who preceded the Holy Father to the airport, where they had a brief conversation.
At the end of the Mass, the Pope Francis also greeted seven representatives of several non-Catholic, Christian Confessions.
On orchestra and children’s choir were on hand at the airport to bid the Pope farewell. The Latam airlines plane was adorned with the Pope’s coat-of-arms and the hashtag ElVueloDeFrancisco [Pope Francis’ Flight].
Once on board, the Pontiff addressed a message to President Kaczynzki, expressing his “profound gratitude” to the President, to the Government and to the “beloved people of Peru” for their “warm reception” and “generous hospitality.” Pope Francis assured them of his prayers and invoked upon the country “the blessings of Almighty God.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

I love the Sacrament of Baptism!

Today I baptized little Abram Thomas Smith; a new creation today in Christ Jesus the Lord!

Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, people standing

Deacon and proto-Martyr of Spain

St. Vincent Saragossa

Image of St. Vincent Saragossa


Feastday: January 22
Patron of Sao Vicente, Lisbon; Vicenza, Italy, vinegar-makers, wine-makers.
Death: 304

St. Vincent, the protomartyr of Spain, was a deacon of the 3rd century. Together with his Bishop, Valerius of Saragossa, he was apprehended during a persecution of Dacian the governor of Spain. Valerius was banished but Vincent was subjected to fierce tortures before ultimately dying from his wounds. According to details of his death (which seem to have been considerably developed later on), his flesh was pierced with iron hooks, he was bound upon a red-hot gridiron and roasted, and he was cast into a prison and laid on a floor strewn with broken pottery. But through it all his constancy remained unmoved (leading to his jailer's conversion) and he survived until his friends were allowed to see him and prepare a bed for on which he died.  The saint's fame spread rapidly throughout Gaul and Africa - we have several sermons of St. Augustine given on his feast day. His feast day is January 22